Manufacturing in Mountain States expanding, report says


The Mountain states — Colorado, Utah and Wyoming — continue to exceed the national index in sales, employment, inventories and delivery lead time.

For the 39th straight month, the overall index for the Mountain States region, a leading economic indicator, advanced above growth neutral of 50, according to the Denver-based Goss Institute for Economic Research. The overall index, or Business Conditions Index, which ranges between 0 and 100, climbed to 54.8 from 54.4 in December.

The overall index is a mathematical average of new orders, production or sales, employment, inventories and delivery lead time.

“Durable and non-durable goods manufacturers continue to expand at a healthy pace,” said Ernie Goss, the institute’s director.  “Contrary to the nation as a whole, the region’s exports remain strong.  Based on our survey results over the past several months, I expect both overall job and economic growth to continue on a positive trend and exceed that of the nation for the first half of 2013.”

In Colorado, new orders and production or sales pushed the state’s leading economic indicator, above growth neutral for January.  The overall index, termed the Business Conditions Index, climbed to 54.4 from December’s 53.8.  New orders were at 53.3, production or sales at 49.3, delivery lead time at 53.4, inventories at 62.7, and employment at 51.2.

“Both durable and non-durable goods expanded at a solid pace for January and more than offset downturns in the state’s energy sector,” Goss said.  “The state’s construction industry continues to rebound, adding jobs at a positive pace.”

February results will be released on March 1, the first business day in March.